Bill Cosby’s lawyers to ask for retrial in sex assault civil case

Entertainment

FILE – Bill Cosby arrives for a sentencing hearing following his sexual assault conviction at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown Pa., on Sept. 25, 2018. Eleven months after he was freed from prison, 85-year-old Cosby will again be the defendant in a sexual assault proceeding, this time a civil case in California. Judy Huth, who is now 64, alleges that in 1975 when she was 16, Cosby sexually assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(NewsNation) — Lawyers for Bill Cosby filed court papers saying they will ask for a retrial after a civil jury found he sexually abused a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1975.

The Los Angeles County jury delivered the verdict in favor of Judy Huth, now 64, last month. They awarded her $500,000.

Cosby’s attorneys, in court papers brought Wednesday in Santa Monica Superior Court, asked Judge Craig Karlan to set aside the judgment, which was entered July 12, according to City News Service | Santa Monica. The news outlets reports the comedian’s legal team states that the grounds for the retrial are “irregularity in the proceedings of the court, jury or adverse party” including jury misconduct, excessive damages, insufficient evidence to justify the verdict and errors in law.

Cosby met Huth and a high school friend on a Southern California film set in April 1975, then took them to the Playboy Mansion a few days later.

During the trial, Huth testified that in a bedroom adjacent to a room where the three had been hanging out, Cosby attempted to put his hand down her pants, then exposed himself and forced her to perform a sex act.

Jurors found that Cosby intentionally caused harmful sexual contact with Huth, that he reasonably believed she was under 18, and that his conduct was driven by unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in a minor. At least nine of the 12 jurors agreed.

While Cosby’s attorneys agreed that Cosby and Huth were at the mansion, the actor continues to deny the allegations against him. He did not testify at this civil trial, with his representatives saying it’s because his glaucoma has left him blind.

A Cosby spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, previously told the Associate Press that his team would appeal the verdict, claiming the defense won because Huth didn’t win punitive damages.

The case took on renewed significance as one of the few remaining legal actions against Cosby, as Pennsylvania’s highest court threw out his criminal sexual assault conviction last June and released him from prison.

City News Service reports Cosby’s lawyers said they will file an alternative motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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